jeudi 13 novembre 2008

Tequila is a girl's best friend

Mexican people is amazing !!!

And like Mexico there are not two !!!

Why this sudden burst of chauvinism ? Well, Mexican scientist have discovered how to turn tequila into diamonds, no fucking kidding ! I knew since the beginning of course, that tequila was my best friend !

Read about this on the BBC.


mardi 11 novembre 2008

Stupid human beings

I was not going to, but this last piece of news compelled me to post this bad vibes message, sorry :

Hitmen 'killed matadors' horses'

Three mounted matadors are on trial in Spain accused of hiring Colombian hitmen to set fire to a dozen horses belonging to a rival in June 2001.

Six animals belonging to the Domecq family died after petrol bombs were put in their horseboxes. Six others took years to recover from serious burns.

But they were not the intended target, prosecutors said. The hitmen were meant to kill those of another man....

Pfff.... stupid human beings....

But wait ! there's more !

Christian infighting in Jerusalem

The argument over rights within Jerusalem's Church of the Holy Sepulchre is as complicated and seemingly intractable as the Middle East conflict itself.

Many Christians believe the church in the heart of Jerusalem's old city marks the place of Jesus Christ's death, burial and resurrection. As such, it is arguably Christianity's holiest site.

The church is grudgingly shared by six claimant communities - Roman Catholic, Greek Orthodox, Armenian Orthodox, Syrian Orthodox, Egyptian Copt and Ethiopian Orthodox - who have always jealously defended their rights over various parts of the complex.

Rivalry between the groups dates back to the aftermath of the crusades and to the great schism between Eastern and Western Christianity in the 11th Century.

So intense is the intra-Christian dispute that the six communities cannot agree which of them should have a key to the site's main door. Consequently, two Muslim families have been the sole guardians of the 25cm (10 inch) key since they were entrusted with the task by the Muslim ruler Saladin in 1178. One family is responsible for unlocking the door each morning and locking it each night, while the other is responsible for its safekeeping at all other times.

In order to settle disputes, the Ottoman sultan issued a 1757 edict (now referred to as the Status Quo agreement) which outlined jurisdiction over Jerusalem's various Christian holy places. Regarding the Holy Sepulchre, it defined exactly which parts - from chapel, to lamp, to flagstone - of the complex were to be controlled by which denomination.

So closely is the ruling followed that it took 17 years of debate before an agreement was reached to paint the church's main dome in 1995.

Monks and friars have been known to exchange blows over who owns a chapel or whose right it is to clean which step.

Religious ceremonies can appear more like singing contests with communities battling to chant the loudest.

The intractable nature of the territorial arguments over the site are epitomised by the short wooden ladder that rests on a ledge above the church's main entrance. It has been there since the 19th Century because rival groups cannot agree who has the right to take it down. Under the Status Quo agreement, rights to the windows reached by the ladder belong to the Armenians, but the ledge below is controlled by the Greeks.

So intense has the argument become that when a monk moved a chair out of the sunshine into a shadier area during a heat-wave six years ago, his action was seen as an attempted land-grab. A fight broke out that left several monks needing hospital treatment...

Pfff.... stupid human beings....

But that's not all :

Boy, 8, on double murder charge

An eight-year-old boy has appeared in court charged with the murders of his father and a lodger in the US state of Arizona last Wednesday. Police have said the child methodically planned the killings and that he admitted shooting the two men with a .22-calibre rifle.

Some people in court cried as the boy appeared in handcuffs sitting restlessly next to his mother. The boy's lawyer has complained that police questioned him without representation from a parent or lawyer and had not advised him of his rights.

Pfff... stupid human beings...

And to finish this holy string of proof that Humans are able of the best, but also of the worst, one from my home country Nicaragua, and one from Burma (which wont be object of US, UN or other divine military intervention to save the democracy since they don't have any oil going on) :

Nicaragua election clash 'deaths'

At least two people have been killed and six others injured in Nicaragua in post-election violence, according to unconfirmed reports from the country. There was gunfire as supporters and opponents of the governing left-wing Sandinista party clashed after nationwide municipal elections. The opposition and monitors alleged voting irregularities. But President Daniel Ortega, whose party claimed victory based on partial results, denied voter fraud.

Burma blogger jailed for 20 years

A Burmese blogger has been sentenced to 20 years in jail for posting a cartoon of the military leader Than Shwe. Nay Phone Latt, 28, was sentenced by a court in Rangoon's Insein prison, said his mother, Aye Than.

His blogs during the September 2007 uprising provided invaluable information about events within the locked-down country.

Aye Than said she was not allowed to attend the trial and Nay Phone Latt was not represented by his defence lawyer, Aung Thein, who began serving a four-month prison sentence for contempt of court last Friday.

vendredi 7 novembre 2008

Miracles happen... still I don't believe in God, sorry

This being the good vibes blog and all, I thought I could share this piece of news with you :

Blind pilot guided to land by RAF

The RAF being the Royal Air Force, of course.

See, this kinda things make me wanna cry too... just like when the workers digging the Channel Tunnel finally shook hands on both sides of the Channel...

And if it makes me wanna cry, it's not because it's a sign of God, but because it gives me faith that Human beings are not that bad, god bless the evolution ;-)

mardi 4 novembre 2008

Viva Obama !

I cannot vote in the US and it's a shame(for me). I think all the citizens in the World should have a say on who is the President of the USA since we all are influenced by the politics of the most powerful country (watch out for China!).

Barack Obama of course is the only choice. And if I were a US citizen, I would vote for him with hope that he is really going to change... well... something... for the good of all of us.

I do not expect a revolution in the way the US goes around the World. But at least a more sensible foreign policy unmarred by oil pollution.

I have to say that I'm mesmerized by him, he's got charisma and his speeches are inspiring. Yes, I'm a dork. But I reckon that sometimes he makes me kinda cry. He's handsome, intelligent, respectful, dignified... Guys like him make me keep on being bisexual :D

If his election is not going to be a revolution in foreign policy or national policy, the fact that a black leader is President of the United States will fill my heart with joy and more hope for good times to come. It was not that far ago that apartheid existed in the US.

If he is elected, I would be waiting for a Latin american woman to be the next President of the US. ;-)

Edited on November 7th : since he's been elected, I'm waiting now for the Chicana :-)

mercredi 8 octobre 2008

Slaves of the Dubai's dongs

I made fun yesterday about the new Babel tower projet that is going to be built in Dubai.

Today I read this article on the Guardian :

'We need slaves to build monuments'

It is already home to the world's glitziest buildings, man-made islands and mega-malls - now Dubai plans to build the tallest tower. But behind the dizzying construction boom is an army of migrant labourers lured into a life of squalor and exploitation.

so to add to my first reaction of yesterday, not only are the Emirate moguls alibabaian rich and unsure about their sexual drive, they are also insanely greedy as are our "best" financial traders and political elites.

Which drives me to the next post: Humans will not evolve anymore.

Human evolution is over... it's even regressing!

Professor Steve Jones, genetist at the University College London, says so. Basically, he (and others) contend that human progress in science, the fact that our health has made us older and less proliferative, is bringing the West civilization to a stop in evolution.

His thinking is ethnocentric (not to say racist) and actually is no news, but I kinda agree with him. We are decadent here in the West. More than decadent, we are suicidal (global warming, unchecked unreasonable financial trading, overarmed and led by idiotic and dangerous guys).

But are we all Humans like our fellow Lemmings?

Lemme be shocking. When I saw this vid about lemmings, frankly, I thought about the immigrants who are ready to die in order to reach our shores. As one good friend of mine says:

"If a guy is able to cross the desert, swim the oceans, scape the Police, charm a woman and reproduce, we should let him stay in our country! He's the best that evolution has made of a Human!"
If we follow this way of thinking to its extremes, it would validate the way the Western countries are building walls around them to prevent immigrants to enter our beloved financially chalenged paradises: the more you make it harder, the more only the best Humans are coming to us!!! Yay!!!

Okey, stop the joke. I hope we would never go as low as this. But... what if more than stopping, the Westerners were regressing in evolution?

mardi 7 octobre 2008

This dong is big!

They got oil, they got power, they are alibabaian rich, but they have doubts about their sex drive... Let's hope God almighty don't take umbrage with this postmodern Babel Tower which is, according to it's creators : "inspired in islamic ingenuity"... ???

lundi 6 octobre 2008

Oh!!! I'm liking it!!!

As far as you can get excited by politics, I'm liking more and more the mess Sarkozy has made out of him in front of the European commission.

The context: in the name of protection of civil rights, the European parliament voted the 24th of September 2008 an amendment against the French government's proposal that would have given the right for a government agency to cut Internet access for users who have illegally downloaded multiple times even after warning from their providers. The Parliament overwhelmingly decided (573 to 74), that only a judicial decision could deprive a citizen from her/his rights.

Notwithstanding, our dear and beloved President wrote to the president of the European commission (the executive branch of the EU if you will) complaining and demanding that the Commission trashed the European Parliament amendment that hindered his proposal.

As Daniel Cohn-Bendit rigthly said today, doing so, Sarkozy ridiculized himself because the Commission has not that kind of power when the Parliament so strongly voted for the amendment (the qualified majority is of 360 votes, soooo....).

To nail our beloved one definitely, the Commission said NO NO NO to his demands: "the Commission has no business rejecting an amendment that was voted by 9/10ths of the European Parliament" explained Martin Selmayr, speaker of the European commission in charge of the Information society and media.

You see, when you're almost out of hope in France because there is no serious political oposition that could stop the war machine that Sarkozy represents against civil and human rights, sometimes Europe is there to give you hope that 3 centuries of struggle for liberty would not go down the drain.

I'm defo liking it! almost sucking my fingers out of it!

mardi 23 septembre 2008

Secularism à la Sarkozy

Some French think that because "laïcité" (secularism) does not have an exact translation in English, the notion does not exist in the rest of the world. We are very much ethnocentered...
But what kind of "laïcité" do we want in France?

The III Republic in France (after the Revolution and Napoleon the III) was afraid of the Catholic Church and its political power. The Church was seen as an obstacle to progress. So in 1905, it was decided that the State and the Church should be separated. Much "water has run under the bridges" since then, but we can say that today the French notion of secularism means that:

1) the State has to remain neutral about religion : no religious discrimination against anyone, no public servant while on duty is allowed to reveal his/her beliefs, no funding of any religion, no public recognition of any religion

2) everyone is free to believe in what he/she wants and to exercise this freedom in a church, a mosque or a synagogue or whatever temple (with some exceptions, no public funds are used to build any of those)

3) pluralism : all religions (big or small) have the right to exist and to express their beliefs, and no discrimination should exist between and towards them

But then, what about sects ? Should we let adults be stripped of all they possess if they are happy believing in a guru doing so ? I'm inclined to let them be. But at the same time, if those adults realize that they were embezzled, then gurus have to give them back what they took from them. The Scientology Church is discovering the harshness of "laïcité" here in France. Because the concept of "freedom of belief" is narrower here than it is in the United States of America. And frankly, the Scientologists deserve to be brought to trial, they have been stealing way too much out of gullible people.

What about "public order" (or "law and order" if you prefer, and by that I mean the minimal legal standard that everyone has to respect in order to live in a society) ? In France, this minimal standard entails that polygamy is forbidden and that you cannot profess that violence against women is righteous or that women are inferior to men. But you have the right to believe it as long as you don't harm anyone and as long as you respect others to believe otherwise.

If we deny this fundamental right, the right of believing what you want, we are heading straight to a Big Brother kind of world. But saying "you have the right to believe in what you want" is not enough. "Laïcité" means that the State, the French Republic, has the duty to proactively protect this right. The State has to fight religious discrimination and also has to allow believers to practice their religion, as long as this practice is reasonable and respects law and order. Here I'm thinking about the Muslim guy who asked for a postponement of his trial because it was a 3-weeks-all-day-long trial that was gonna take place exactly during the period of Ramadan. The Court allowed him to be tried after Ramadan. For me it's the right decision and the Court, doing so, was respecting "laïcité" contrary to what the "good Republicans" here in France were blabbing about.

What about religion and education ? How to protect children and young people from being "brainwashed" and allow them to choose the religion they want, or not to believe in God at all ? Religion or atheism is often a family and private matter though. School should be a place where young people get in contact with other's beliefs, and where they should be able to get a fair knowledge about those beliefs.

I have mixed feelings about the law against the "Islamic scarf" in school. At the beginning I was against it. Then I was in favor because I thought that it was a good way to let young women say to their parents: "I have no option, if I want to go to school, I have to go uncovered, so sorry". Now I dunno anymore...

Last year I went to a conference about discrimination (all kinds of discriminations) and as I was seated I saw a couple of covered women entering the hall and I involuntarily cringed. But then I thought : "I guess those girls would cringe too if they saw me kissing a girl... Who am I to judge them ?" And then one of the covered women started talking. I was shaken : she was a talented orator, she did not believe that she is less than a man but she is a firm believer and to be covered is her way of showing her beliefs, she spoke about how she was victim of discrimination while she was on holidays in France (a hotel owner did not want to let her stay in her establishment because she was covered) and I thought :

"She is covered because we don't respect Muslims in France. We say to them that they are French and are equal to other French people, but in fact we don't hire them, we don't let them into night clubs, we prevent them from living in our neighborhoods, we are always saying that they are violent, ignorant, unworthy of their citizenship, that they are loud and that they stink. Even our present Minister of Justice thought that she was not considered a full French citizen when she was young. So if you are not French, and if you don't belong to any other country in the world because you are born in France, and you live in France, then what are you ? Where do you belong ? You have to have some roots and defend those roots because then you are nothing."
In the end I tend to think that the law against the scarf is a bad law because instead of protecting young Muslim women it only discriminates them even more.

Am I going astray thinking this way ? I mean, I started talking about "secularism", religion and school and now I'm talking about discrimination... What bothers me is that more often than never, when you talk about "laïcité" in France, it's in opposition to Islam : there's the amalgam between Islam and radical Islamism that Sarkozy is the first to create (remember his speech to the French Ambassadors in August 2007), then you have the "scandal" of the annulment of a marriage because the Muslim husband discovered that his Muslim wife had lied to him about being a virgin, and the fact that the highest administrative court (Conseil d'Etat) ruled that it was legal to refuse the French citizenship to a woman who is a radical Muslim and wears a burqa and truly believes that she is inferior to her French Muslim husband, and recently all the fuzz because a criminal trial was postponed to allow a Muslim defendant to do Ramadan (and I have tons of things to say about all those things, but Maître Eolas is far more talented than I am, so you better learn French).

The fact is that every time there's the question of "laïcité", Islam is not very far away. And for me, is a question of discrimination: you are free to believe in what you want, but if you are a Muslim (understood "an Arab") then you have to be careful to never let show your beliefs, which is difficult when you're supposed to be Muslim because your name is Mohamed...

Now our dear President Sarkozy is talking about a "positive secularism" following the lead of Pope Benedict XVI (not the other way around as the press presents it). And this is making me more than cringe: it is positively scaring the bejesus out of me. Because I don't think that Sarko wants to protect my right to believe in whatever the heck pleases me. His ideology (if he has ever got one), or at least his attitude, is not of the tolerant kind.

His speech on the 20th December 2007 for his first meeting with Pope Benedict XVI started by adding to the notion of "laïcité": "the right not to be hurt in one's conscience by ostentatious practices". This is clearly aimed at Muslims since the only ostentatious practice that has ever been banned in France is wearing the Muslim scarf at school. For example, the fact that in the summer of 2007 a group of prisoners was used (based on their voluntary will) to carry a huge cross to the top of a hill to erect it there, was not considered "ostentatious". Oh but, that is totally normal since, as the President said himself :
"Laïcité has not got the power to cut France from it's Christian roots. It tried to do it. It should not had tried. As Benedict XVI, I think that a nation who ignores the ethical, spiritual, religious heritage of its History commits a crime against its culture, against that mix of history, of patrimony, of art and popular traditions that impregnates so deeply our way of life and of thinking. To uproot is to loose the meaning, is to weaken the foundation of national identity, is to dry up even more social relations who need so much symbols of memory."
And he goes on saying that we have to acknowledge and to value the Christian roots of France and that the Republic is better off when there is an ethical thinking inspired on religious beliefs because secularism in the end tends to be too much materialistic, too spiritually dry, because secular ethics do not tend to an aspiration of Infinity. In other words, non-believers have no other horizon than their death so they cannot think about the future... I'm insulted !

He also stated that :
"in the transmission of values and in the teaching of the difference between good and evil, the teacher will never replace the priest or the pastor because he/she will always lack the radicality of the sacrifice of his/her life and the charisma of a commitment carried by hope"
Now I feel insulted in the name of my friends who are teachers and, believe you me, who have radically sacrificed their lives as much as a priest of pastor would, and who possess the charisma of a commitment carried by their hope of a better human kind. Notice also that the President, who is so respectful of diversity and the pluralism of religious beliefs, does not mention either "imam" or "rabbi" in his speech... Okey, he was speaking in front of a public of cardinals, but still: he knew that his speech was going to be broadcast for all French to watch. By the way, if by "sacrifice of his life" Sarko refers to the fact that priests have vowed to never ever have sex and a family, I would not myself value so much such a nonsense.

He finishes giving his definition of "positive secularism" : a "laïcité" that does not consider religions as a danger but rather as an asset.

I agree that it's important to value our roots, and that's is why I'm worried about the law against the hijab (or Muslim scarf). I also think that religions are, sometimes, an asset. I also value very much my Christian roots. I believe that my ethics are founded on the Catholic tradition of my family, even if my parents are non-believers. In Latin America, the Theology of Liberation was the most positive movement the Catholic church has produced in all its history and a lot of Christians were touched by this movement around the world. I also think that all sorts of religious beliefs have helped humans to progress in different parts of the world and throughout History.

I wish I had a better knowledge of other religions, but it is true that a lot of harm has been made in the name of God. And that's exactly why I criticize Sarkozy's "positive secularism", because in the name of God, and more specifically, in the name of Christ, he wants the French republic to tighten up its ties with our so-called traditions (as though Judaism and Islam were not part of our European traditions) in order to build a fortress against the Others, the Barbarians, in other words, the Muslims. His views against Turkey being part of Europe are founded on this "ideology" that is also championed by Pope Benedict XVI.

What they seem to forget is that to exclude is not a Christian tradition.

lundi 22 septembre 2008

Big Sarko brother is watching you

So Sarkozy wants to store information about us (political activists, union members, troublemakers in general) in a big file called "EDVIGE" where it will also be stated if we are homosexuals and stuff.

So in Facebook there is a group against this outrageous file and they published a picture that made me smile :

Is like they published my file on Facebook !!! hahaha !!!

Okey okey... except that I wear glasses, I weigh a lot more and I'm ten years older than this girl...

mardi 9 septembre 2008

Beatles are good for your good memories !

This being the good vibes blog,

and me being a huge fan of The Beatles,

I am proud to let you know that what I've been feeling over the years about The Beatles has a scientific ground today :

jeudi 28 août 2008

The RM effect

Holly Kelka !

I was so excited when I noticed that my visitors were coming in "flocks" since I started blogging again.

Now I feel ashamed...

It's because I used "Rachel Maddow" in my tags that this happened. When you use the RM tag, you can count on at least 20 single visitors in your blog!

I'm not the only one who's in love with Rachel, hahaha !

Since I already used RM in my tags today, I'm gonna indulge again ;-)

Berlusconi - Carla Bruni - Sarkozy superstars superpeople

I've made a bet with a friend : before the end of his term, Sarkozy is going to record a song.

Well... Berlusconi was faster !

As what to think of the new Carla Bruni épouse Sarkozy opus...

let me know, because I won't be hearing it.

A lesson of... democracy ?

I dunno. But the fact is that I'm in awe when watching this video :

What you see there is MSNBC coverage of the Democratic Convention in Denver prior the US Presidential elections.

There are two journalists well known for their totally opposed opinions : Pat Buchanan, who is the chubby baldy guy on the right, who is totally conservative republican, and of course, the one and only, the love of my life, Rachel Maddow.

So basically, Pat Buchanan is in the middle of the big democratic gig of this year, debating with Rachel Maddow who is the best progressive political journalist of the US. And they respect each other. Even if Pat gets kicked by Rachel more often than he would like to, I suspect. The fact is that there is a space for political controversy in the middle of the Democratic convention.

You would never see that in France. Never ever. Not in the middle of the UMP congress nor the PS summer university.

The French socialists are so dumb and stupid and... (I'm short of words to describe the abyssal depth of their mediocrity) that they decided to vote in block against the constitutional reform proposed by Sarkozy just because it was Sarkozy's proposal.

But the fact is that we have now a better constitution and a legal revolution that is such a progress (at least in the text) that I would have voted for this reform with my two hands and feet raised : the possibility for a citizen to contend the constitutionality of a law in front of any court. Up until now, only 60 congressmen or senators could seize the Constitutional Council to contend the constitutionality of a project of law, not even the law itself.

To acknowledge that your adversary has made a good reform is the least a honest politician should do. To propose better policies is the next step. But French socialists are so entangled in the cat fight about who is gonna be the next presidential candidate in... 2012... that I don't see that happening. Fuck me !

lundi 25 août 2008

Another piece of good news !

500 European Jewish students holiday in Istanbul

Monday, August 25, 2008
ISTANBUL - Turkish Daily News

Hundreds of Jewish students vacationing in Istanbul as part of the European Union of Jewish Students', or EUJS, summer program wrapped up their vacation yesterday, hoping to send Europe an important message about Turkey's relevance. The EUJS's biggest annual event, Summer-U, is a social gathering bringing together 500 Jewish students from across Europe and various locales to appreciate their common heritage while sharing in the culture of the chosen destination. This year, the 25th year of the Summer-U program, 500 students arrived in Şile on August 17 to vacation and use the opportunity to send Europe a clear message; that Turkey was part of Europe. "We want to send a signal that Turkey is involved with Europe and is part of it," one EUJS official told the Turkish Daily News.

Biggest such event in a Muslim country

Hosting the event in Istanbul had other practical benefits too the official admitted, saying, "We also wanted to foster cultural dialogue with a Muslim country. We thought it was interesting to come to a Muslim country as a Jewish organization." A previous EUJS event in Istanbul several years ago had only 30 participants, and this is the first time the organization has brought this many members to a Muslim country. The organization gives particular importance to minorities in Europe, and organizers feel that it is important for the students to have dialogue with the Muslim populations in Europe. While cultural exchange is a priority, the main purpose of the Summer-U programs is to bring a community together to preserve their common identity. "The Jewish community has a very high assimilation rate across the whole of Europe, and there might not be a Jewish identity left in a few generations. So we want to bring together young Jewish people to meet and pride themselves in this common heritage" The EUJS is a democratically elected organization that represents 34 national Jewish student unions throughout Europe, bringing together some 200,000 individuals.

mardi 19 août 2008

Silent Sea

I just read an article on "Le Monde" about a best-seller in Sweden that was written by Isabella Lövin.

The name of the book is "Silent Sea" ("Tyst Hav" for my Swedish readers... hahaha) and it's about the consequences of overfishing in the Baltic Sea. Her book has shaken up a lot of people who were totally ignorant about the aquatic desert that overfishing has produced. She won the permanent hate of the fishing industry in Sweden and it was not an easy task writing that book that was published in 2007.

I'm considering falling in love too with Ms. Lövin (I'm a very open lover).

For English speakers, here's an interview of Ms Lövin :

For French readers, this is the article published today by Le Monde :

La journaliste a consacré une enquête aux effets de la surpêche en mer Baltique et analysé les conséquences de la disparition des espèces sur l'écosystème. Avec " Mer silencieuse ", qui a connu une diffusion inattendue, elle s'est mise à dos les pêcheurs et a provoqué de vifs débats dans son pays

Sorti à la fin de l'été 2007, le livre d'Isabella Lövin, Mer silencieuse, a bousculé les Suédois comme peu d'ouvrages depuis longtemps. Dans son sillage, de nombreux grands restaurants de Stockholm ont retiré la morue de leur menu, des communes ont bouleversé les habitudes alimentaires des maisons de retraite et des écoles pour en bannir les poissons menacés. Suivis par des centrales de grande distribution, des responsables politiques ont promis de supprimer une partie de la flotte de pêche suédoise. Dans cet élan, la Norvège inquiète de l'éventualité d'un boycottage, a lancé un label pour ses morues de Barents.

En l'espace de quelques mois, Isabella Lövin, jusque-là parfaitement inconnue si ce n'est des lecteurs de ses chroniques dans le magazine Allt om mat (" Tout sur la nourriture "), a raflé cette année tous les prix avec son livre enquête. " Pour son récit choquant sur ce que l'être humain fait avec la mer, et à quel prix ", précise l'un d'eux pour justifier sa décision. Elle est devenue une vedette en Suède, invitée aux quatre coins du pays, placée sur un piédestal par les uns, clouée au pilori par les autres.

Son livre, qui doit sortir en poche en septembre, devrait provoquer une nouvelle vague d'indignation pour ceux qui auraient été épargnés par la première. Elle rêve d'exporter le débat dans toute l'Europe. A Bruxelles, croit-elle savoir, les partisans de la réforme de la politique européenne de la pêche attendent avec impatience la traduction de son livre en anglais.

Dans son ouvrage écrit comme un thriller, Isabella Lövin dresse un constat accablant des conséquences de la surpêche notamment en mer Baltique. Conséquences dramatiques pour la morue, pour l'anguille, pour la biodiversité, pour tout l'écosystème marin en train de s'écrouler. Le choc est d'autant plus violent pour les Suédois qu'ils se considèrent volontiers comme des champions de la protection de l'environnement.

Avec ce livre, on partage d'abord son ignorance, son étonnement, puis assez vite son indignation. On la suit dans des conférences apparemment insipides mais ô combien révélatrices, sur des chalutiers de recherche, on suit ses coups de téléphone, on partage avec elle les silences des chercheurs, impuissants face à l'inertie des politiques, on veut avec elle neutraliser le lobby des pêcheurs, on saute de révolte en déprime. Le procédé est simple, efficace.

Sa rage tient au fait que cette mer devient silencieuse avec la bénédiction et les subventions des autorités. " Elle a servi de réveil, concède Axel Wenblad, directeur général de l'Agence suédoise de la pêche. Pour quelqu'un qui n'était ni spécialiste ni enquêtrice, elle a su se poser les bonnes questions et chercher les réponses. Je ne suis pas d'accord avec elle sur tous les points, par exemple je ne pense pas qu'il faille boycotter la morue, mais ce n'est pas le plus important. "

Il y a de la Fifi Brindacier dans cette jeune femme posée de 45 ans qui s'est mise à dos toute l'industrie de la pêche sans se départir de son calme et qui, depuis le succès de son ouvrage, va tout aussi posément occuper les plateaux de télévision, ferrailler avec le ministre de la pêche ou les représentants d'une profession désormais montrée du doigt. " Elle est agréable mais peu au fait de la politique de la pêche, tranche Henrik Svenberg, président de la Fédération des pêcheurs suédois. Et elle argumente trop avec de bons sentiments. " L'insulte résonne doucettement aux oreilles d'Isabella Lövin et la renvoie à ses lectures de jeunesse, à ses premières émotions littéraires.

Vers l'âge de 10 ans, elle découvre le monde enchanté d'Andersen, le conteur danois, elle s'amourache du Vilain Petit Canard, se met à écrire des contes. Il y a là un déclic. " Andersen donnait vie à des choses mortes, je trouvais cela extraordinaire. " C'est ce qui lui a si bien réussi dans Mer silencieuse. " Je me suis permise de donner aux poissons plus de valeur que ne leur en donne notre société. " Andersen est assez sentimental. " Je me suis permise de l'être aussi. " Fatiguée qu'on ne parle des poissons qu'en termes de revenus ou d'emplois, elle est allée à leur rencontre. Montrer qu'ils ont une valeur. " La morue est très intelligente. Si vous êtes en face d'une morue dans un aquarium, elle va lever la tête pour regarder. Quant à l'anguille, elle a une activité cérébrale plusieurs heures après qu'on lui a coupé la tête. " Pour elle, ils méritent autant le respect même s'ils ne sont pas capables de nous émouvoir avec des mimiques ou avec des grands yeux de bébés phoques.

Le monde de la pêche n'est pas sa première passion. Jeune, c'est le féminisme qui l'attirait. Une jeunesse suédoise pourrait-on dire. Elle est née dans le sud, mais son père, artiste en devenir, cherchait un endroit bon marché où aménager un grand atelier. La famille arrive à Avesta, dans le sud de la Dalécarlie, région centrale et carte postale de Suède, avec ses lacs, ses forêts et ses petites maisons de bois rouge. Elle grandit à la campagne, " loin de la mer ", dans un monde paysan, avec des vaches, les odeurs de fumier et près d'une usine, la seule de la région. Beaucoup d'alcool, beaucoup de chômage, tel sera le décor de ses premiers articles lorsqu'elle débutera dans le journalisme. Le goût de l'écriture viendra bien plus tard. Son enfance plutôt solitaire - l'ami le plus proche habitait à deux kilomètres - a été heureuse. Il y avait beaucoup de neige ; les skis étaient toujours au bas de l'escalier. " Il n'y en a presque plus. C'est étrange que cela soit fini. "

Quand ses parents divorcent, elle reste avec sa mère. Peu. Celle-ci meurt d'un cancer quand Isabella n'a que 14 ans. Elle rejoint son père à Stockholm, accueillie chaleureusement par cette nouvelle famille. Elle vit alors dans l'un des quartiers les plus huppés de Stockholm, dans une maison délabrée. Entourée d'enfants de la haute bourgeoisie, elle vire rebelle et gauchiste. C'est l'époque des lectures qui vont la marquer pour la vie. Celle de Maria-Pia Boethius, journaliste et féministe bien connue en Suède, qui avait dénoncé les différences de traitement des viols dans le système judiciaire suédois.

Elle s'engage dans un groupuscule, Grupp 8, qui trouvait ses origines dans un réseau socialiste féministe créé en 1968. " Mais y aller dans les années 1980, c'était déjà trop tard. On me trouvait trop jeune. " Elle en rejoint un autre qui manifestait contre les sex-shops.Elle vient d'une époque où les Suédoises ont cru que l'égalité était atteinte. Déception. Isabella a raté le train du féminisme, elle se rattrapera sur le suivant.

L'autre choc fut celui de l'entropie, grâce à Jeremy Rifkin, qui lui fait découvrir que tout passe du désordre à l'ordre, ou que tout est désordre avec des îlots. Une révélation, tout se met en place, cette fatalité avec laquelle notre consommation épuise la nature, cette accélération qui nous prive des moyens de réparer les dégâts.

Elle rêvait de devenir une journaliste engagée ? Quand en 2003, journaliste pigiste, elle découvre un communiqué de presse de la direction des pêches qui annonce que le stock d'anguille a baissé de 99 % en vingt ans et que rien n'était fait pour enrayer cette éradication, la boucle est bouclée. Elle se lance dans l'enquête, bute, dérape, s'accroche, car elle est opiniâtre, disent des collègues de la radio. Aujourd'hui, elle est toujours stupéfaite par ce succès.

Olivier Truc

Mer silencieuse

d'Isabella Lövin

Ed. Ordfront

Some good news are always welcome!

Relaxe d'une féministe iranienne condamnée à la prison

TÉHÉRAN. Une féministe iranienne, Nahid Jafari, a été relaxée en appel de sa peine avec sursis de six mois de prison et dix coups de fouets, a rapporté, lundi 18 août, le quotidien iranien Kargozaran. Selon ce journal, le verdict du tribunal révolutionnaire a été rejeté par la cour d'appel. Nahid Jafari avait été arrêtée en mars 2007 pour " trouble à l'ordre public " en compagnie de 32 autres féministes pour avoir participé à un rassemblement devant le tribunal révolutionnaire, lors du jugement de cinq autres militantes. En juin, une autre féministe, Hana Abdi, a été condamnée à cinq ans de prison pour " complot contre la sécurité nationale ". Les féministes iraniennes ont lancé une campagne pour tenter de collecter 1 million de signatures afin de demander des droits égaux en ce qui concerne le mariage, l'héritage et la garde des enfants. - (AFP.)

© Le Monde

TEHRAN (AFP) - An Iranian appeals court has cleared a women's rights activist who was facing a suspended jail term and lashes of the whip on charges of disturbing public order, a newspaper reported on Monday.

Nahid Jafari was sentenced along with three other women by a revolutionary court in April to suspended sentences of six months in prison and 10 lashes for taking part in a protest last year.

But the appeal court has quashed the verdict against Jafari, who was arrested in March 2007 along with 32 other women during a protest against the trial of another five women's rights activists, the Kargozaran newspaper reported.

The fate of the three others sentenced with Jafari is not known.

The five women being tried in March 2007 had been arrested on charges of acting against national security for staging a protest in June 2006 to demand equal rights for women in marriage, divorce, inheritance and child custody.

Iranian authorities arrested a total of about 70 people during the protest, amid claims of police brutality.

Iran has exerted mounting pressure on women's rights advocates, and in recent months several have been arrested for calling for changes to Iranian laws or for taking part in public protests.

The crackdown was stepped up after the launch of a "One Million Signature" campaign which seeks to change Iran's laws that discriminate against women such as legislation on marriage, divorce, inheritance and child custody.

The campaign, which is backed by Iranian Nobel peace laureate Shirin Ebadi, was launched after the June 2006 demonstration.

In May, Iran handed down a suspended jail sentence of up to three years against award-winning activist Parvin Ardalan on charges of seeking to harm national security.

Ardalan -- who won Sweden's Olof Palme Prize in 2007 -- is one of the figureheads of the "One Million Signature" campaign.

Activist Hana Abdi, 21, who belongs to a Kurdish women's group and also supports the signature campaign, was jailed for five years in June after she was convicted of plotting to commit a crime against Iranian security.

lundi 18 août 2008

I'm maddly gay in love !!!

And she's the reason why :

She is Rachel Maddow and I am officially in love with her as today and I hope for ever after (but who can promise the eternity ?).

mercredi 13 août 2008

Here I go again

Six months after my last post this is what I want to share :

the magnificent way the French newspaper "Liberation" has to title the news.

The last title that caught my eye is this one :

"Le FN sauvé par le Shanghai chèque"

Soooo... how to explain to non-French speakers....

The FN (Front National) is the most abject far right political party in France. His president is Jean-Marie Le Pen (who has a fake eye... hmm... that has nothing to do with this post but it's a piece of information that could be useful... For example, the missed comedian Pierre Desproges said about him : "There's more humanity in a dog's eye when it wags its tail that in Le Pen's tail when he wags his eye"). It's ideology is ultra-nationalist and racist.

So it's kind of funny to learn that the HQ of this party was bought by a Chinese university from Shanghai. Le Pen is in a dire situation since it has to reimburse a lot of money after he missed the 5 % of votes necessary to have the Republic pay for his electoral campaign. So his party had to sell its HQ.

Now, "Shangai chèque" is simply "the bank check from Shangai" and a play on words with "Chiang Kai-shek" who was the leader of Nationalist China up to 1948 when he got kicked out by Mao Zedong.

There you go !

PS : and this is a little gift for those who like Annie Lennox. I thought about this song because its lyrics say at some point "Here I go again" :)

Découvrez Annie Lennox!

lundi 17 mars 2008

The Pink City sees la Vie en Rose !!!!

After 37 years the Pink City has turned a little pinkier.

The socialist party won the municipal elections yesterday and I have to say that even if I'm not a big fan of the party of the Rose

I'm super happy that the left won the elections over the UMP (the one who must not be named party).

So in happy celebration, have a full set of "La Vie en Rose" from Deezer (which is super great too) :

free music

lundi 25 février 2008

Stepping in...

a new appartment !

At least that's how I feel after changing the decoration.

a new geeky gadget !

And now I feel like Sissi altogether - btw I hope you're enjoying the slopes :)

I bought myself this :

which coupled with my fabulous phone :

has made me the most happy geeky woman on earth !!!

Now, I can listen to my music, podcasts and radio (the g4 comes with a radio receiver) and never miss a call because whenever someone tries to reach me on my cell phone, the Ipod stops playing music and waits for me to answer the call directly with my earphones and with a microphone that's inside the g4 thingy.

samedi 16 février 2008

The SMS kingdom: Besitos and other small presidential messages

free music

The one who must not be named is worse than I am concerning SMS addiction.

In september 2007 a little message he was carrying after a meeting with his ministers said: " J'ai l'impression de ne pas t'avoir vu depuis une éternité et tu me manques... Millions de besitos."
"I feel like I haven't seen you in ages and I miss you... Millions of besitos"
Aaaw ! Who could have sent that message to the President... Cecilia?

Some say that when he attended the Lisbonne summit in October 2007 about the new European constitution, he could not refrain from texting... well, is not a rumor:

One SMS escaped and was published for all the world to read in Le Nouvel Observateur. He sent this text before marrying Carla :

"Si tu reviens j'annule tout"
"If you come back, I cancel everything"
Aaaw ! That is fucking romantic, don't you think? So French...

The newspaper is now being sued by the president and this has never happened in France in its multimillenary history. I mean, never before a king (or president, or whatever you might call the guy that is on top of French people, and it will be ages before a woman goes on top, and yes, French are not that kinky) has taken the trouble of displaying his private life in public.

Frankly, I think the one who must not be named has lost his marbles...

Imagine: the other day he said that to honor the memory of the Shoah, every kid aged 10 years old attending school would carry the memory of one of the 11.000 French kids who were deported and killed in the Nazi camps... Even Simone Veil (whom I admire although I was deceived of her endorsing the one who must not be named during the presidential elections) said that when she heard him saying that her blood freezed. How could you give such a burden to a 10 years old kid? What kind of education is that? One that stresses emotion over understanding the reasons and whys of the horror in order to prevent that from happening again? Is he going to ask the 8 years old to carry the memory of the Palestinians killed in Sabra and Chatila ? Is he going to ask the 7 years olds to carry the memory of the Rwandan kids killed in 1994 by militias trained by the French army ? What the fuck !!!!

Sorry... He's making me loose my marbles too... But as Anne Roumanoff said : "We deserve the President we have!"... she's so fucking right... I think I've lost my faith in democracy and apparently I'm not the only one... but that's another matter.

mercredi 6 février 2008

Pourquoi la haine ?

L'autre jour je lisais ce qui était en train de se passer au Kenya, et ça m'a fait penser au Rwanda, et ça m'a fait penser aux Balkans. Je me suis demandé comment des personnes qui se connaissent depuis leur naissance, qui à défaut de s'aimer se sont appréciées, peuvent arriver à tuer leurs voisins, leurs amis...

Voici un début de réponse qu'une amie, experte en matière de haine pour l'avoir souffert, m'a transmis après y avoir réfléchi :

Concernant ta question d'hier sur la haine...

Pour expliquer la haine je pense qu'il faut garder à l'esprit que l'Homme a des instincts primaires. Après, il y a aussi le rejet (ou la peur) de l'autre parce qu'il est différent. Regarde dans les écoles, tu as les filles cool, les moins cool, les garçons mignons, les moins mignons, les intellos, les sportifs, les "in", les "has been", etc. Ensuite, il y a aussi le fait que l'identification est une chose primordiale chez l'homme. On s'identifie tous à quelqu'un et/ou à une communauté... Enfin, ne pas oublier que l'homme est un être insatisfait. "Je te tends la main, tu me prends le bras"...

Et maintenant imagine :

- Tu es un petit garçon. Tu grandis dans une famille où depuis des générations on se remémore les victoires de la Nation, mais aussi la défaite en 1389 face à l'Empire ennemi où le rêve de la grande Nation s'est effondré. En tant qu'enfant, tu vois les yeux de ton grand père qui brillent lorsqu'il te conte les conquêtes, et tu ressens son envie de vengeance quand il te raconte les défaites.

Comme dans toute société il arrive que des failles se produisent, que des gens se sentent rejetés (pense à l'école et aux groupes). Et à ce moment là, les instincts primaires refont surface. Arrive alors un homme assez malin pour savoir jouer des faiblesses du système et réveiller en chaque petit garçon le souvenir de ces histoires racontées par grand-père, de Grande Nation, de revanche contre l'Empire ennemi (même si de cet Empire il ne reste que quelques traces ici ou là mais ce sont des traces en trop qu'il faut éliminer... et au passage il faut également éliminer tous ceux qui sont contre l'idée de la Grande Nation).

Alors, cet homme que tu es devenu (et tant d'autres comme lui) suit cet autre homme en qui il s'identifie, en qui il a trouvé un "guide", et il le suivra coûte que coûte (quitte à tuer son meilleur ami pour faire honneur à ses ancêtres, sa famille (au passage premier groupe social auquel on s'identifie, et on appartient).

-Imagine maintenant que tu es une petite fille dans un village dévasté par la guerre. Tu vis avec ta maman et tes grand-parents. Depuis que tu es petite, tu es habituée à voir tous les matins les ruines qui entourent ton village, voir ta maman qui est triste, et ressentir comme un poids qui pèse dans l'atmosphère familial. Tu te dis que c'est la faute de la guerre, le décès de ton oncle durant cet "évènement" Guerre pendant laquelle tu es née mais dont tu n'as aucun souvenir; à part les histoires que tu entends ici ou là.

Tout cela n'empêche que tu es heureuse, ta mère avec laquelle tu es très proche du fait que vous n'ayez que 14 ans de différence t'aime plus que tout, tes grand-parents aussi, tu es une bonne élève à l'école, tu as un tas d'amis, même un garçon qui te tourne autour, tu passes tes soirées à discuter de lui avec tes copines, etc.

Tu grandis, tu te poses des questions sur ton identité. Tu voudrais demander à ta mère où est ton père mais tu n'oses pas, "certaines questions ne se posent pas". Et puis si c'est pour t'entendre dire qu'il est mort pendant la guerre comme le père de ta copine de classe... Alors tu mènes plus ou moins une petite enquête en posant des questions à ta vieille voisine qui sait tout sur tout et qui a toujours été gentille avec toi. Et là, pour la première fois tu la sens mal à l'aise... Poussée par la curiosité (instinct primaire ?) un soir tu décides d'espionner ta grand-mère et ta maman, et tu entends la voix de mamie dire "tu devrais lui dire, elle comprendra, ça l'aidera..." Mais maman dit "non, je ne peux pas, c'est plus fort que moi"...

Tu es intriguée et tu commences alors à poser des questions naïves du genre comment ils se sont rencontrés avec ton père ? est-ce qu'il était aussi beau que ton petit copain ? Et ta mère te répond à chaque fois "écoute mon coeur, j'ai bossé toute la journée, une autre fois, d'accord ?"

Et puis un jour tu en as plein le dos alors tu menaces ta mère de te barrer avec ton copain pour toujours, et elle pourra crever tu ne reviendras pas. Et pour la provoquer davantage tu ajoutes qu'elle ne sait peut-être même pas qui est ton père et que c'est sans doute pour ça que tout le monde te regarde bizarrement dans le village...

Et là ta mère se met dans une colère noire, te colle une gifle, puis une autre, puis une 3e... et dans l'hystérie elle te dit que non elle ne se souvient pas de ton père parce qu'après qu'il ait exécuté ton oncle devant les yeux de la famille le soldat l'a ensuite violée et que 9 mois après tu es venue au monde...

- Maintenant tu es un petit garçon palestinien, et en même temps une petite fille israélienne.

En tant que petit garçon tu grandis dans un bidon ville. Tu dois faire les poubelles pour manger. Ta famille ? Tu ne sais pas où elle. Un jour un monsieur te sauve de là. Il t'offre l'hospitalité, te traite comme un fils et t'inscrit même dans l'école la plus prestigieuse de la région.

En tant que petite fille, tu grandis dans une grande famille heureuse. Tes deux grands frères sont dans l'armée, et ils défendent le pays. Et tout le monde est tellement fier d'eux, et toi aussi bien sûr. Un soir le petit garçon devenu jeune homme et la petite fille devenue une jeune fille se croisent lors d'une soirée. Elle sait très bien qu'elle ne doit pas ressentir des choses pour ce garçon mais rien n'y fait. Les sentiments ne se contrôlent pas...(instinct primitif ?) Vous vous revoyez de temps en temps, et un jour même, vous allez même jusqu'à échanger un baiser...

En tant que fille tu vis ton premier amour, tu es sur un nuage ! En tant que garçon c'est la première femme qui rentre enfin dans ta vie, elle est si douce, jolie... Et tous les deux vous pensez la même chose en vous couchant le soir : "les "autres" ne sont pas tous les mêmes".

Quelques jours plus tard, pendant ton cours d'histoire des civilisations un policier rentre dans la salle de ton école prestigieuse, se penche vers ton professeur, lui dit quelque chose à l'oreille et à son tour le professeur t'appelle. Tu t'avances, tu suis le policier qui t'apprend que ton père a été tué par balle. Tout s'effondre autour de toi. Ton père qui était ton repère, ton héros, ton modèle, ton ordre, ta loi, ton TOUT, n'est plus. Des gens autour de toi te disent que ce sont les "autres" qui l'ont tué, comme ils ont tué ta famille, qu'il faut se venger. Tes instincts primaires/primitifs reprennent le dessus. Tu croises sur ta route des hommes auprès desquels ton envie de vengeance se développe de jour en jour. La haine grandit. Un jour l'un d'eux te propose l'instrument de la vengeance : une ceinture d'explosifs. Et tu vas à la sortie d'une de "leurs" écoles et avant de te faire sauter tu dis "vous êtes tous les mêmes, vous méritez ça".

Et la fille que tu es, ce jour-là perd deux de ses petites soeurs. Et en lisant le journal du lendemain, tu y vois la photo de l'assassin et tu t'effondres en voyant que c'était le garçon qui t'avait transporté dans une autre monde. Tu en conclus que finalement tous les "autres" sont les mêmes et qu'ils méritent ce qui leur arrive.

- Concernant le tribalisme, il me semble que cet article est intéressant :

La haine est véhiculée par une minorité de gens, mais une fois qu'elle se trouve un chef qui sait rassembler, cette minorité peut faire des ravages. Et qui sont ces chefs ? En général ce sont des petits garçons ou des petites filles qui étaient dans le groupe montré du doigt à l'école, ceux à qui ont faisait toutes les misères du monde, ceux qui ne se sont jamais sentis aimés, ou ceux qui se sont toujours dit "ce ne sont pas les autres qui me dictent ma conduite, c'est moi qui dit aux autres ce qu'ils doivent faire". Ce sont ceux chez qui tous les éléments qui mènent vers la haine sont réunis. Et une fois que ces gens là flirtent avec le pouvoir...

Je pense que tout ça peut aider à expliquer d'où vient la haine. Mais malgré toutes les explications du monde, je n'arrive pas à la comprendre, ni à la tolérer. J'ai eu un discussion très vive sur ce point. La personne en face de moi disait "comment tu peux ne pas tous les détester ? Tu devrais avoir de la haine en toi !"

Quand j'y pense oui, de la haine aurait pu se développer en moi. Après tout, mon enfance m'a été enlevée en un jour, j'ai perdu tous mes repères, j'ai vu des choses pas jolies jolies... J'ai été mutilée à jamais. Mais je ne ressens aucune haine, aucune vengeance envers qui que ce soit parce que j'ai vu, vécu et ressenti ce à quoi a conduit la haine de l'autre, et que je ne souhaite à personne de vivre ça.

lundi 4 février 2008

The one about Soweto

While reading this post, I invite you to play Hugh Masekela’s song "Bring Him Back Home" :

Bring Him Back Home

This song was written to help free Nelson Mandela who spent 27 years of his life in the apartheid prisons of South Africa.

All right. Now let's get down to business: this is me enjoying a traditional dish of mogudu (cow bowels) for the modic sum of 44 rands (4 euros) in the Nambitha restaurant in Soweto on January 11th.

After the meal, Sylvie took us to visit the community center of Kliptown, a shanty town in Soweto. That’s where she’s been working with the Kliptown Youth Program and that’s where the money I asked some of you to give to her has been transfered. She’s been helping kids with their biology classes, and supporting the cultural activities and trips organized for young people of Kliptown. She’s even learnt some Zulu ! So you can imagine that when she said she was going to visit Kliptown with some friends, we were received like the Royal family.

Here’s a vid about the Kliptown Youth Program :

Something I noticed that is worthy to keep in mind in these troubled days we are living, is that we entered Kliptown with fear. Fear of rejection and violence because we were white rich people cruising the dirt roads of this shanty town with a big brand new car. So we were kinda bracing for something bad to happen. And our fear was very perceivable by the people of Kliptown, so they closed themselves up at the beginning.

But then we were introduced to Thulani Madondo, the director of Kliptown Youth Program. He took us to visit by foot his neighborhood. Kids were swarming all over us, curious about our clique, smiling and trying to touch our hands, to feel our weirdly pale skin. Adults welcomed us, talked to us, without any sort of scorn or hate. They smiled to us and made us feel at ease. Poor people from Kliptown are entitled to hate white people methinks, but they simply don’t.

We then were presented with an improvised dance show the youths performed for us in the community center and here you have the vids :

The ladies :

The little ones :

The youths :

The boot dance :

We were all shaken up by then and when they asked us to express ourselves about the work that the association has been doing in Kliptown, I started the talking by thanking them for their generosity and warm welcome and almost broke down crying. Delphine followed me, and she could not refrain from crying a little :). There was simply too much emotion going on.

I’m very proud of Sylvie and I also said it. She’s been able to establish a solid link based on respect and solidarity with the people of Kliptown. Her sincere altruism has been rewarded with trust and that is something that money just can’t buy. I think the work that the Kliptown Youth Program has accomplished is the example of how we the Westerners should build up solidarity with poor countries: direct interaction with the very people that need help and work orientation based on the assesment of the actual needs and prorities with and by the people.

Giving money away is not useful. Is like giving money or sweets to kids in the streets. This so called « good charity » does not really help. On the contrary. Poor people then only expect from us money and charity. By giving charity, we place ourselves automatically in a higher position. It is not respectful of people. Imagine the first time it happened to a kid: maybe he was walking by the road and some stranger stopped and give him a couple of rands, took a picture of him and disappeared forever. Imagine it happened to you. I would have felt insulted. In some touristic spots in South Africa, you can see groups of kids waiting for tourists to give them money, and if you don’t or give too little, they might insult you. What kind of respectful relationship can you build up with this kind of charity ?

Okey, enough ranting.

The only thing I know is that when we left Kliptown, our fear was replaced with awe and hapiness. And as we were leaving the shanty town, we reflected it and people smiled, waved their hands saying goodbye to us : Sizobonana !

The other one about South Africa - Panoramics

This one does not need comments so just enjoy it :

Krueger Park

Krueger River

On the road to Saint Lucia

St Lucia Beach

Sodwana Bay beach

Sodwana Bay beach


Sunset at the Drakensberg

lundi 28 janvier 2008

The one about South Africa

My my my... more than a month has passed and I have not posted...

But hey, you cannot work and have holidays and post all at the same time !

So here I go about my second trip to South Africa, a country that I've learned to love more an more, whose people are so admirable, a land of beauty that is the birth place of my only hero : Nelson Mandela.

My trip started hazardously : the KLM plane that was going to take me to Amsterdam just did not take off. And why ? well... I really dunno... this is the state in which the reactors were when we were waiting to get into the plane :

covered with a red cap... and the crew was nowhere to be seen... bad omen ? no !!!! We changed airlines with Air France and by mere miracle our luggage followed us up until Joburg where we arrived exactly on time !

We spent New Year's Eve in the Kruger Park. It is THE national park of South Africa. As big as my home country Nicaragua (hey, don't believe me on that... is just an impression, but maybe I'm right... I'm just lazy to check that out).

They say that if you visit the Kruger, you get to meet the Big Five (elephant, rhino, buffalo, lion and leopard). Well... we just met three of them, and not the big cats :( I'll have to go back to fix that...

We did meet some abusive vervet monkeys that stole our New Year's food... aaaah ! the wilderness !

We drank like sailors and danced to my Ipod selection. The craziest of us decided to go on a morning walk right after the party at 5 am... I postponed that walk until the 2d of January.

I think that helped us to be able to actually see some animals, since the alcoholic aura was not around us warning the beasts to get out of our way ;)

What you need to know is that you're not supposed to get out of your car inside the park (it's deadly dangerous). We were guided by some rangers who had weapons and knew how to read tracks and other "traces"... like rhino shitholes :

The rangers told us that's where the rhinos leave messages through shit : "I'm the master of the premises" or "Whatever..." or "I'm available, fuck me"

They were able to spot a rhino mom and her puppy and took us to where they were resting. We got a glimpse of her :

We had to be very quiet and not let ourselves know or else she could become very agressive. Everything went well, or else I wouldn't be posting... duh !

These are some of the best pics of animals that I took in the Kruger :


Kinda prehistoric bird

(see the white circle around his ass... that's how you know is a waterbock)

Elephant dust spa

The majestic Impala (symbol of the Kruger Park)


Baby vervet


And that's all folks ! at least for today... I have to get my beauty sleep !